Monday Evening, I sat at the bedside of my Dad making small talk of life, both of us trying to ignore the gravity of his condition. He had several strokes in the previous 48 hours, ultimately the collateral damage of Parkinson’s Disease. I said “hey Dad, Robin Williams Passed away today, he was only 63”. Dad said it seemed that everyone was dying lately then he said “I’m 83”, wanting to make sure I knew that. As it turned out, Dad followed Robin across the threshold to the next life by just one day. Tuesday evening while processing the shock of my loss, I learned that Lauren Bacall may have walked shoulder to shoulder into the next world with my own Father.
Lauren Bacall was 89 and died shortly after having a stroke. Her Screen Persona was likely not all that different from her true character, a classy, independent and caring spirit, Just like my Dad.
My Dad loved Robin Williams and would have been so interested to know that Robin also suffered from PD, but that news didn’t come out until yesterday. Dad always gained inspiration from those who also had PD. Michael J. Fox, Mohamad Ali, Linda Ronstadt among the famous.
This morning I am touched to read these words from Robin’s Daughter Zelda. “Dad was, is and always will be one of the kindest, most generous, gentlest souls Ive ever known, and while there are few things I know for certain right now, one of them is that not just my world, but the entire world is forever a little darker, less colorful and less full of laughter in his absence. Well just have to work twice as hard to fill it back up again”.
To Zelda I would say that I understand that my Father Knew how difficult those early stages of PD were, how difficult it was to accept the diagnosis. I would tell her that I can see a lot of my Father in Robin’s eyes. I would tell her that she should be proud of him for coping with his diagnosis and symptoms so courageously and in his own way and in his own time, just as my own Father did. I would thank her for her for giving me words to express what I feel at this moment.